Monday, December 12, 2011

Winter Wander through the Woodlot

* I posted this on a couple of forums last week and after so many nice comments and the badgering of my lovely wife, I'll share it here now too*

I didn't manage to get anything bushcraft-y done, but after being stuck indoors all day yesterday I just had to get out into the forest today and I figured I could share some pics of my wanderings.

I'm aiming to supply all of our firewood from our forest using only handtools which means I almost always carry a GB felling ax, takedown bucksaw, Bahco Laplander folding saw and a GB hatchet, as well as water, snacks, etc. But we're in that awkward season when the garden cart has been parked for the winter and the sled is waiting for more snow. So for now I leave the bucked firewood in the forest and I'll come back with the sled and the harnessed dog in a few weeks to haul it all home.

The bridge that divides the farm from the forest

I take dozens of pics of this collapsing bridge throughout the year. I don't know why, I just love it. It runs from the woodlot to one of the islands in our pond.

Crossing the bridge

My work buddy Strider

The lookout point over the neighboring farms to the hills of Gatineau park in the distance

A windstorm earlier this year simply ripped and peeled dozens of trees right off the rocky hill, meaning the saw has been getting much more work than the ax lately.

One of the old firepits and concrete/iron grills from 26+ years ago when the land was a kid's summer camp. There are supposedly 200 of these spread throughout the forest but so far I have only found 8!

No fire for me today though, I had a thermos of my wife's homemade beans instead :D

*click on the pics to see a larger version*


  1. Ooooh, you have snow!!! We're still waiting. Lovely pictures, thanks for sharing

  2. Hey Gary, have you played around with your crosscut anymore? If you need a hand trouble shooting for the tune up, let me know. I am filing a sweet little 4' two man tuttle tooth. Real unusual to find a 2 man saw that short that has not been cut down.

  3. Ashamed to admit that I still haven't done anything with it. We're not burning much wood this winter so I already have 4 cords for next winter which is making me lazy. Plus the kids are away so we're having a relaxing time.

    I really should kick my own arse. First thing I need to do is set up a work area, install the vices in a counter top and just get to it. I'll get around to it... eventually... ;)

  4. I don't blame ya. If you aren't motivated, don't try to force yourself. The only reason I have the patience to work on them is because I like them, its become a hobby of sorts. If I didn't want to do it, it'd be miserable work. Speaking of vices, did you build one yourself? I was just using a carpenters saw vice, but that broke and I am currently constructing a proper vice now...

  5. Got it sitting quite well in a Black&Decker workbench that was lying around but I've got to admit, the more I look at it... the worse my opinion of the saw itself. You can see the markings of where it should have been stamped out of the mold but excess bits of metal are still sitting in the hollows, teeth are different lengths, etc. Not impressed at all, but it's what I've got so I'll work with it.

    The only aspect that I just don't understand so far is which part of the spider leg is supposed to sit atop the tooth? And should it be able to sit on the tooth without being held, or is it the tip of the leg that I am supposed to HOLD against the tip of the blade? The inner side of the spider leg is curved, so depending how much of the tooth I let sit on top, I can get it to appear level. I'm googling around to see what exact point of the leg should be making contact. After that... I think I'm ready to rock n roll.

  6. I will yield to Mr. Warren Miller's video on the subject (He has videos on every major process BTW). If this doesn't clear it up, let me know and I could try to explain too.

    Yeah, generally the steel in curtis saws is considered to be too soft. There are pros and cons. it will be easy to file and set, also easy to straighten if you kink it- but it will kink easier, go dull quicker and in general not behave as well.

  7. I should also add that you will need to check all the teeth before setting.. I think you mentioned that the set was clearly off a while back. when a fella at the crosscut sawyer forum measured his, the set was 25/1000 on one side and -5/1000 on the other. you may have to take your setters hammer (riveting hammer works too) and pound all the teeth into the same plane as the blade. if you only have one spider, you could either make another set up to measure flat, or use a feeler gauge of the corresponding thickness with the one you have already set up. Hope I haven't confused the hell out of ya?

  8. Confused yes... but for different reasons :)

    I'm going to come back to this pretty damn soon but for now, we've kinda stopped doing regular stuff around here lately because we've got a pretty huge project in the works that has been taking up almost every waking hour. Hopefully within the next few days I'll be able to post about it openly and trust me... we'll need all the advice we can get!

  9. I have no idea why it called me 'nomad' and I can't be arsed figuring it out either.